A few years ago a Christian filmmaker said something to me that changed how I view my faith.
I was interviewing Dan Millican and we were talking about the effect of our Christian films on viewers. For example, I know of a young woman whose life was greatly effected by our web series Nikki & Babs: Do and Doubts. I said to Dan, “if our project saves one soul, then all of the sacrifices we’ve made are worth it.”
And Dan said to me, “God doesn’t need our films to save anyone.”
I was surprised by his statement because I felt God had called me to create Sonlight Pictures and I could think of no other reason than to affect lives. I asked Dan to clarify.
He said, “God has sunsets every night that are more beautiful and powerful than anything we could ever create. He doesn’t need us to do anything to save souls. All he’s asking for is our obedience.”
He was right. And that changed me. God doesn’t need me to make films because he needs their power. I need to make films, or write scripts or write novels, because God has asked me. Nothing more.
This weekend my daughter was sharing with me a story that she heard on a local Christian radio station. It was about a local ice cream shop run by a man who makes non-traditional, unique ice cream flavors. He believed God wanted him to open an ice cream shop, so he did. And on the first day of business, he felt God was telling him to give the ice cream away for free.
Think of that. Of all of the money and time invested to open a shop and God says “Give it away.” The owner did as instructed
For the next three days in a row, he awoke and asked “Am I giving it away again?” And for the following three days, God said “Yes.” It was a leap of faith, to say the least. The result? Business is booming. The people who ate for free have come back in droves.
As my daughter relayed this story, I realized that God doesn’t need ice cream no more than God needs my movies or novels.
So why does he ask us to do this stuff?
I originally thought God needed our acts of obedience because they fit into some master plan of which I was not able to comprehend. But, now, I think it’s much more simple than that.
I think God asks us to be obedient because WE need it.
Just as he knows each of the hairs on our heads, he also knows what we need in order to get to heaven. Our paths are as unique as our fingerprints and since he needs for nothing, then his requests for our obedience must be selfless. And not only selfless, but individually designed for each of us.
God is showing each of us a path to heaven by these little requests of obedience. For the ice cream shop owner, giving away ice cream for four straight days got him a little closer to heaven. For me, it’s writing script or novels or making movies.
For you, it is completely different.
When God asks you to do something, he’s asking it for YOUR benefit, not his. So, do it. Because WE obviously need it.
How has God asked you to be obedient?
BTW – Since I didn’t hear the story first hand, I cannot verify the ice cream shop, but all indications are that it is Revolution Ice Cream in Brandon, Florida. If you get a chance, stop by.